Painful questions persist concerning the years Sayon Soeun spent under the brutal Khmer Rouge regime. After more than 35 years, he recently made contact with five brothers and a sister he assumed were dead. They say that they are sure he is their brother “Yon”. Sayon will follow these clues to Cambodia where he searches for the truth about a family he barely remembers and comes to term with his own experiences as a witness to genocide. The above picture is all that Sayon had left from his family in Cambodia.
Sayon’s possible siblings in Cambodia. (from left: Sao Sim, Thy Sim, Yao Soem, Sareth Sim)
Sayon as a teenager in Middletown, CT
Sayon Souen’s marriage to Sophy Theam in Lowell, MA, 2007. Also seen in this picture, left to right,
BACK ROW, men only: Tymofey Wowk (brother), John Beers (step father) Theodore Beers (brother) John Beers Junior (brother);
FRONT ROW: Katya Wowk (sister), Susan Beers (mother), in front of Susan is Raymond Soeun (Sayon's son)
Sayon Soeun with family in their home in Lowell, MA
(from left: Sayon Soeun, Sophy Theam (Sayon’s wife), Eath Sao (mom of Sophy & Sopheap), Sopheap Theam (Sophy’s sister) & four dogs) Today, Sayon feels blessed to lead a happy and fulfilled life in Lowell, Massachussetts, after being forced into unimaginable hardship and cruelty as a child soldier of the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia at the approximate age of 6.
(photo: Beecher Grogan)